Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Top Aussie journalist calls for colleagues to defend Wikileaks

After winning the country’s top journalism prize last night, the Walkleys, reporter Laurie Oakes had a message for his fellow scribes. How many will speak up?

Oakes also attacked Ms Gillard and Attorney-General Robert McClelland for their response to the release of secret US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks.

“What they said was ridiculous,” he said.

“To brand what the WikiLeaks site has done as illegal when there’s no evidence of any breach of the law, I think is demeaning… I think as journalists we should make that our view.”

one comment ↪
  • Justin Abbey

    Prime Minister,

     

    This letter is in response to the government response to the leaking of classified documents by Wikileak's and subsequent spokesperson Julian Assange.It is my intention to express my dismay and outrage at your comments disseminated through mainstream media press on the 2nd and 7th of December. I find your remarks without sufficient basis and qualification and a direct provocation to the concept of a transparent and free democracy. I am at a loss to understand how you can assert the illegality of the leaks, while public agencies investigate.

     

    This contemporary political paradigm is disconcerting that the leader of the Australian Government would pander to the United States in respect to these leaks. This encompasses two major important perspectives. Firstly your remarks, callous and calculated do not allow Julian Assange the right to due process and the presumption of innocence. They also potentially prejudice any judicial proceedings that may arise in the future. You have also enabled the Government through the Attorney General to maintain this proviso.

     

    Issues of legality are often a speciality of the Government and your carefully worded statements indicate to myself that you intend to invoke retrospective legislation in order to either make the prosecution of Assange possible or to further tighten the freedom of information that has been in steady partisan decline since the Howard Era. The hyperbole of your government has been centered around transparency yet the attitude and position of the Government barring the carefully considered comments of Foreign Minister Rudd recently compromise the fragile fabric of a true free and transparent democracy.

     

    Secondly contemporary western democracies such as the United States and Australia, while adept at developing and adopting policies to integrate technology into the dissemination of Government agenda, defense and all aspects which reinforce sovereignty have failed to acknowledge a structural shift in institutional media. As a politically and technologically engaged citizen I acknowledge the relevance of sites such as Wikileaks as a portal for the distribution of material which has journalistic and publication merit.

     

    This represents the shift from classical print media to digital media and the relevance of these sites as a distribution portal to the citizenry of the democratic world as a whole. The arrogance of the current Australian and U.S. administrations to acknowledge this shift is convenient and a self serving agenda. This course of complicity is something as a labor voter I expected from a conservative coalition government, though the visible shift of labor to centre right should have given some indication of the government position.

     

    My letter and argument have to conclude with my observation's on Neo-liberal democracies as the greatest farce of Modernity. Neo-liberal government institutions now engage in highly cohersive and subtle forms of control and power manipulation over the citizenry within the borders of the Nation State. The very premise of freedom in the form of rights and information is an illusion that is held in front to distinguish Australia, the U.S. and a host of European democracies as superior to totalitarian regimes, oligarchies, dictatorships and socialist democratic states.

    You as a Prime Minister and the Government no longer share my support, your statements betray the fundamental tenets of a free and transparent democracy.

     

    Sincerely

     

    Justin Abbey